Sharjah Wraps Up Successful Europe Road Show With Workshop in Geneva
Date Published: Sunday, May 25, 2014 MORE THAN 250 TOURISM INDUSTRY REPRESENTATIVES ATTEND EVENT As part of its increasing efforts to target the European tourism and travel market, the Sharjah Commerce Tourism Development Authority has wrapped up a successful road show, held from May 19 to 23, the roadshow included workshops and interactive meetings with industry partners in three countries. Beginning with the Austrian capital Vienna, the road show covered major cities across Germany and concluded in the Swiss capital of Geneva attracting more than 250 leading travel and tourism companies. Highlighting the success of the European road show, HE Mohamed Ali Al Noman, Chairman of the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority said that the SCTDA campaign focused on promoting the Sharjah tourism experience of cultural heritage to target new tourist markets in the continent. He added that the year-long Sharjah Islamic Culture Capital 2014 celebrations gave Sharjah a new platform to focus on popular festivals and activities throughout the year. Al Noman said that considering the strategic nature of the European market which contributes a significant percentage of Sharjah’s tourist arrivals, the Authority has always attached high importance to promoting the Emirate in the region. In this context, he referred to Sharjah’s participation in a number of international tourism exhibitions and events such as ITB Berlin besides setting up of a permanent Sharjah tourism promotion and representative offices in Europe. In Geneva, the workshop exceeded expectations in one of SCTDAs exciting new outbound tourism markets. Geneva has a vast network of direct flights linking it to various parts of the world and this makes it a significant location for the emirate to have a footprint. When the roadshow arrived in Vienna the workshops were booked out by leading representatives of the country’s tourism industry, travel agencies and hospitality sector besides a good representation from the Austrian media. The Sharjah delegation were given plenty of opportunity to fully discuss and positively promote the tourism product and distinguish it from other destinations in the region. Sharjah has always received a warm welcome in Germany, with Germans being a strong growing market to Sharjah over many years. The roadshow stopped in Hamburg, Berlin Cologne and Frankfurt, the economic capital of the nation. The travel trade showed its support for keeping Sharjah firmly on its radar and the participants on the tour were encouraged with the enthusiasm by the trade to sign on deals for the next few years. The roadshow focused on the latest developments in the tourism industry landscape including, hospitality and infrastructure projects involving government and private sector players in various cities across the Emirate which are aimed at meeting the growing demand and increasing number of visitors every year. Sharjah received more than 1.9 million international tourists last year and is confident that it will reach 2 million in 2014. The tour concluded in Switzerland with the successful workshop in Geneva, the Capital and the second largest of Swiss cities. The upcoming tourism projects, various cultural and tourism festivals and events, landmarks and tourist attractions were received positively by the trade there. With the expanding air routes into Europe particularly central Europe, Geneva is considered another strategic hub to encompass in the SCTDA expansion strategy. It is worth noting that the SCTDA organises a number of promotional tours in major capitals and cities of the Gulf and European countries throughout the year. The Authority concluded a successful road show in April that included Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Next month the SCTDA will visit Russia and after summer they will cover the major Indian cities that are serviced by Air Arabia flights. The Authority has had outstanding promotional tours in the Middle East, Europe and America in recent years.